laurel wright
laurel wright Member Posts: 2 Navigator
Hello Gain Grow Retain Community,

We are looking to implement some more automation with our lower-tier level clients. Currently, we have implemented a great onboarding strategy and then we have an automated email that goes out 30 days into their subscription. After that we try to schedule "quarterly business reviews" with each of our clients to check in and ensure utilization. Some clients like to hop on a call for a quarterly call and some do not use this service we provide. We handle smaller clients but a lot of them and are looking to implement more automation throughout the entire lifecycle. What are your thoughts? Do you have any automation in your lifecycle that seems to work great that is farther into the lifecycle?

Thank you so much for your thoughts in advance!


  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, CS Leader Posts: 109 Expert
    First Comment 5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited May 2021
    @laurel wright there are certainly people here more well versed in this than me, but I will give two tips on what we have found work well.

    1) Plain text email check ins
    - Sounds simple but our highest response and engagement rate is a plain text email check in sent from the CSM. This is fully automated but since it is plain text and short the clients respond at really high rates (see end of my answer for when to send this)

    2) Congratulations for milestones
    - These emails are simple in theory. We see you have done a certain action y number of times. Congrats!! Now try this other action.
    - This is a great way to congratulate a client on using the platform and also drive usage for other key activities
    - We use Totango so it is easy to automate and bring all this in

    These are just two small things. Before you implement automation I would recommend building out some sort of customer journey. I did this exercise at the beginning of the year and found it really helpful to talk to customers before building.

    Ask them where you can communicate better and once you understand those points, then you can build the automation.
    Jordan Silverman
    (914) 844-5775
  • laurel wright
    laurel wright Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited May 2021

    Hello Jordan,

    Thank you so much for your prompt response and great ideas! I might start including some general "check-ins" throughout our lifecycle as well as some milestone emails. I really like the congratulatory emails for achieving certain milestones on the platform. 

    Thank you very much for your thoughts and time to respond!

  • Joe Spellman
    Joe Spellman Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited May 2021
    I love this topic and I have tried at various places to get something automated going. It feels like the place we got stuck a few times was around the message to the person paying the bill. In the case of enterprise SaaS the folks writing the check are typically not logging in and using the system. So the ability to automate was constrained by the tools we had handy to look for patterns or key milestones and then merge that into into something useful for a sponsor. Would be curious to see if anyone has had any luck with that vs. the individual user outreach. 

    Back to your question - at my last job we spent a lot of time on journey mapping. And the thought was to implement simple touches to make sure we got them to log in and use the system, guide them to new features, and watch for usage drops to remind/poke them to log back in. Where we struggled was with trying to build a perfect journey map and then look to implement. We never got there. So if I had one piece of advice it would be to try something - anything - and onboarding is a great place to start. Minimally making sure that clients are in the system is a start.
  • matmoody
    matmoody Member Posts: 23 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited May 2021
    Question... what are the specific outcomes you are looking for the automation to improve? (e.g. usage, retention, upsell, etc.)
  • Jason Kobs
    Jason Kobs Member Posts: 8 Contributor
    Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    edited May 2021
    Hi Laurel, 

    We are about 5-months into a dedicated effort to stand up a digital strategy for our lower-tier clients (although there are applications across all service models). 

    A couple of things to keep in mind, although I'll be the first to admit we are building the car while we drive.  
    Can you identify user cohorts and automate outreach based on:
      • Power vs. Lapsed users 
      • Use Cases - can you syndicate outreach based on how your data is being used
      • eQBR - we've built a rough version of an eQBR, sharing usage data and other Product/Platform enhancements. The target audience for this is key stakeholders. There is some user-list auditing to ensure we are hitting the right audience.  There is also an "intent to renew" survey, helping us measure risk 180-days out from a renewal. 

    We've also stood up a Strategic Client Communications role, ensuring we are talking to the right customer at the right time with the right message through the right channel.  This ensures that the CS content is relevant and the client experience is enhanced. 

    At the end of the day, the north star we are chasing is ensuring our low-tier clients have an experience similar to our high-touch clients.  

    Hope this helps!

    Jason Kobs
    Head of Customer Success
  • Josh Buckley
    Josh Buckley Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    edited May 2021
    Hi Laurel -

    Some lessons learned/tips from implementing "tech touch" automation a couple of times:

    --Agree that a customer journey is extremely valuable. 
    -- Post-onboarding emails can leverage telemetry to trigger automated outreach.  For example, if usage fails to reach a threshold, you automatically send content to help or trigger a CSM to follow-up.  These types of emails can also be time-based starting from when onboarding is complete.    
    --Renewal reminder emails are a good way to add automation.  You can include tips/content related to the "commercial experience" (i.e. what's needed for a PO).  These can be targeted to the contact on the order which is often a procurement or business contact. 
    --Having a customer journey with adoption content mapped to the journey makes it easier to design proactive adoption emails, especially based on use cases.  Partnering with your marketing or support teams can help with content engagement metrics. 

    Hope this helps.